April/May 2017

Fences
by August Wilson

From legendary playwright August Wilson, the powerful, stunning dramatic work that won him critical acclaim, including the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize. Troy Maxson is a strong man, a hard man. He has had to be to survive. Troy Maxson has gone through life in an America where to be proud and black is to face pressures that could crush a man, body and soul. But the 1950s are yielding to the new spirit of liberation in the 1960s, a spirit that is changing the world Troy Maxson has learned to deal with the only way he can, a spirit that is making him a stranger, angry and afraid, in a world he never knew and to a wife and son he understands less and less. (from Amazon.com)



From Sand and Ash
by Amy Harmon

Italy, 1943-Germany occupies much of the country, placing the Jewish population in grave danger during World War II. As children, Eva Rosselli and Angelo Bianco were raised like family but divided by circumstance and religion. As the years go by, the two find themselves falling in love. But the church calls to Angelo and, despite his deep feelings for Eva, he chooses the priesthood. Now, more than a decade later, Angelo is a Catholic priest and Eva is a woman with nowhere to turn. With the Gestapo closing in, Angelo hides Eva within the walls of a convent, where Eva discovers she is just one of many Jews being sheltered by the Catholic Church. But Eva can't quietly hide, waiting for deliverance, while Angelo risks everything to keep her safe. With the world at war and so many in need, Angelo and Eva face trial after trial, choice after agonizing choice, until fate and fortune finally collide, leaving them with the most difficult decision of all.


If Not for You
by Debbie Macomber

"Having lived under her parents' thumb for 25 years, Beth Prudhomme is finally taking charge of her own life. She moves from Chicago to Portland to live near her favorite aunt, finding employment as a music teacher at a local high school and a fast friend in Nichole Nyquist (who readers will recognize from A Girl's Guide to Moving On). Everything is coming together, though her love life leaves something to be desired. Until Nichole introduces Beth to Sam, a tattooed mechanic who's the epitome of her conservative parents' worst nightmare. Beth doesn't want to upset her parents more than she already has, and for himself, Sam has no interest in being set up with a prissy music teacher. But both learn that appearances aren't everything ..."--Provided by publisher.


Gunmetal Gray
by Mark Greaney

After five years on the run Court Gentry is back on the inside at the CIA. But his first mission makes him wish he had stayed on the outs when a pair of Chinese agents try to take him down in Hong Kong. Normally the Chinese prefer to stay eyes-only on foreign agents. So why are they on such high alert?  Court’s high stakes hunt for answers takes him across Southeast Asia and leads to his old friend, Donald Fitzroy, who is being held hostage by the Chinese. Fitzroy was contracted to find Fan Jiang, a former member of an ultra-secret computer warfare unit responsible for testing China’s own security systems. And it seems Fan may have been too good at his job—because China wants him dead. The first two kill teams Fitzroy sent to find Fan have disappeared and the Chinese have decided to “supervise” the next operation. What they don't know is that Gentry’s mission is to find Fan first and get whatever intel he has to the US. After that, all he has to do is get out alive...


Death on the River of Doubt
by Samantha Seiple

"I did have a murderous trip down South, but it was mighty interesting." In October 1913, Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on a tour of South America. The thrill-seeking adventurer had no idea that he would soon receive an offer hecouldn't refuse: the chance to lead an expedition deep into the Amazon jungle to chart an unmapped river with his son Kermit and renowned Brazilian explorer Candido Mariano da Silva Rondon. Death on the River of Doubt takes readers inside the thrilling journey that unfolds as Roosevelt, Rondon, Kermit, and their companions navigate an unpredictable river through an unforgiving jungle. With new threats at every turn, from bloodthirsty piranhas and raging rapids to starvation, disease, and a traitor in their own ranks, it seems that not everyone will make it out alive. Through it all, the indomitable Teddy Roosevelt remained determined to complete their mission and rewrite the map of the world. Or die trying"


Lincoln in the Bardo
by George Saunders

February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body. From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul. (from Amzon.com)


The Twelve Live of Samuel Hawley
by Hannah Tinti

After years spent living on the run, Samuel Hawley moves with his teenage daughter Loo to Olympus, Massachusetts. There, in his late wife's hometown, Hawley finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at school and grows curious about her mother's mysterious death. Haunting them both are twelve scars Hawley carries on his body, from twelve bullets in his criminal past - a past that eventually spills over into his daughter's present, until together they must face a reckoning yet to come. Both a coming of age novel and a literary thriller, THE TWELVE LIVES OF SAMUEL HAWLEY explores what it means to be a hero, and the price we pay to protect the people we love most.


The Women in the Castle
by Jessica Shattuck

"Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany's defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband's ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband's brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows"--Dust jacket.

February/March 2017

Twenty-Six Seconds
by Alexandra Zapruder

Abraham Zapruder didn't know when he ran home to grab his video camera on November 22, 1963 that this single spontaneous decision would change his family's life for generations to come. Originally intended as a home movie of President Kennedy's motorcade, Zapruder's film of the JFK assassination is now shown in every American history class, included in Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit questions, and referenced in novels and films. It is the most famous example of citizen journalism, a precursor to the iconic images of our time, such as the Challenger explosion, the Rodney King beating, and the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers. But few know the complicated legacy of the film itself. Now Abraham's granddaughter, Alexandra Zapruder, is ready to tell the complete story for the first time. With the help of the Zapruder family's exclusive records, memories, and documents, Zapruder tracks the film's torturous journey through history, all while American society undergoes its own transformation, and a new media-driven consumer culture challenges traditional ideas of privacy, ownership, journalism, and knowledge. (from Amazon.com)



Under Lincoln's Hat
by James M. Cornelius and Carla Knorowski

What is the oldest artifact linked to Abraham Lincoln? What does a poem written when he was just a schoolboy say about his character? Taking its cue from The History of the World in 100 Objects, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum have selected 100 items from their extensive and rare collection that will give readers an intimate glimpse into the turning points of Lincoln’s life and presidency. From a page taken from his sum book, to the gloves Lincoln wore the night he was assassinated, these objects reveal a sense of the man and his times in a fresh and immediate way. Handsomely designed, with more than 125 photographs visually complimenting the text, Under Lincoln’s Hat will be a gorgeous book and a great gift for anyone interested in one of the most iconic figures in American history. (from Amazon.com)


Setting Free the Kites
by Alex George

"From the author of the "lyrical and compelling" (USA Today) novel A Good American comes a powerful story of two friends and the unintended consequences of friendship, loss, and hope. For Robert Carter, life in his coastal Maine hometown is comfortably predictable. But in 1976, on his first day of eighth grade, he meets Nathan Tilly, who changes everything. Nathan is confident, fearless, impetuous--and fascinated by kites and flying. Robert and Nathan's budding friendship is forged in the crucible of two family tragedies, and as the boys struggle to come to terms with loss, they take summer jobs at the local rundown amusement park. It's there that Nathan's boundless capacity for optimism threatens to overwhelm them both, and where they learn some harsh truths about family, desire, and revenge. Unforgettable and heart-breaking, Setting Free the Kites is a poignant and moving exploration of the pain, joy, and glories of young friendship"


The German Girl
by Armando Lucas Correa

In 1939, the transatlantic liner St. Louis set sail for Cuba with more than 900 passengers, most of them German Jewish refugees. In journalist Correa's first novel, among the passengers is 12-year-old Hannah Rosenthal, so much of a blue-eyed blonde that her photograph appears on the cover of The German Girl, a propaganda magazine. Also on board are Hannah's parents, her best friend, Leo, and Leo's father. When they reach Havana, only Hannah and her mother are allowed to disembark. Many years later, a package arrives at the home of 12-year-old Anna Rosen, who lives in New York with her mother. The contents-a copy of the magazine with Hannah's picture and a cache of photographic negatives- prove the catalyst for Anna's exploration of her own identity, and she and her mother travel to Cuba to meet Hannah, who is Anna's great-aunt. The novel loses momentum once Anna and her mother arrive in Havana, but the growing sense of peril that the Rosenthals experience in Berlin and the anxiety underlying the luxurious conditions on the St. Louis are conveyed with remarkable power.


The Ear of the Heart
by Mother Dolores Hart

Dolores Hart stunned Hollywood in 1963, when after ten highly successful feature films, she chose to enter a contemplative monastery. Now, fifty years later, Mother Dolores gives this fascinating account of her life, with co-author and life-long friend, Richard DeNeut. Dolores was a bright and beautiful college student when she made her film debut with Elvis Presley in Paramount's 1957 Loving You. She acted in nine more movies with other big stars such as Montgomery Clift, Anthony Quinn and Myrna Loy. She also gave a Tony-nominated performance in the Broadway play The Pleasure of His Company and appeared in two television shows, including The Virginian. A new chapter in her life occurred while playing Saint Clare in the movie Francis of Assisi, which was filmed on location in Italy. (from Amazon.com)

December 2016/January 2017

Behind Closed Doors
by B.A. Paris

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You'd like to get to know Grace better. But it's difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love. Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace's friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call -- so why doesn't Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim? And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows? The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?


Perfume River
by Robert Olen Butler

Robert Quinlan, a seventy-year-old historian teaching at Florida State University, must confront his crumbling marriage and the family he lost touch with over his political views during the Vietnam war. From one of America's most important writers, Perfume River is a masterful novel that examines family ties and the legacy of the Vietnam War through the portrait of a Robert's family. Profound and poignant, it is an examination of relationships, personal choice and how war resonates down the generations. It is the finest novel yet from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author.


The Book that Matters Most
by Ann Hood

An enthralling novel about love, loss, secrets, friendship, and the healing power of literature, by the bestselling author of The Knitting Circle. Ava's twenty-five-year marriage has fallen apart, and her two grown children are pursuing their own lives outside of the country. Ava joins a book group, not only for her love of reading but also out of sheer desperation for companionship. The group's goal throughout the year is for each member to present the book that matters most to them. Ava rediscovers a mysterious book from her childhood-one that helped her through the traumas of the untimely deaths of her sister and mother. Alternating with Ava's story is that of her troubled daughter Maggie, who, living in Paris, descends into a destructive relationship with an older man. Ava's mission to find that book and its enigmatic author takes her on a quest that unravels the secrets of her past and offers her and Maggie the chance to remake their lives.


The Wrong side of Goodbye
by Michael Connelly

Desperate to know whether he has an heir, a dying billionaire hires private investigator Harry Bosch to track down a Mexican girl from his past, who may or may not have had his baby. With the billionaire's fortune at stake, Harry realizes that his mission may be dangerous not only for himself, but also for the heir he seeks. As he uncovers the story--and discovers surprising links to his own past--he knows he cannot stop until he uncovers the truth.


Moonglow
by Michael Chabon

Moonglow unfolds as the deathbed confession of a man the narrator refers to only as “my grandfather.” It is a tale of madness, of war and adventure, of sex and marriage and desire, of existential doubt and model rocketry, of the shining aspirations and demonic underpinnings of American technological accomplishment at midcentury, and, above all, of the destructive impact—and the creative power—of keeping secrets and telling lies. It is a portrait of the difficult but passionate love between the narrator’s grandfather and his grandmother, an enigmatic woman broken by her experience growing up in war-torn France. It is also a tour de force of speculative autobiography in which Chabon devises and reveals a secret history of his own imagination.


Everything is Possible
by Jen Bricker

Jen Bricker was born without legs. Shocked and uncertain they could care for her, her biological parents gave her up for adoption. In her loving adoptive home, there was just one simple rule: "Never say 'can't.'" And pretty soon, there was nothing this small but mighty powerhouse set her sights on that she couldn't conquer: roller-skating, volleyball, power tumbling, and spinning from silk ribbons thirty feet in the air.


The Magnolia Story
by Chip & Joanna Gaines

The husband-and-wife team from HGTV's Fixer Upper share an in-depth portrait of their lives together and the renovations that have forged their partnership, offering behind-the-scenes stories about their courtship, early marriage and rise as entrepreneurial celebrities.